By Newsgram Staff Writer
To improve the capacity, quality and safety of Tamil Nadu’s core road network, World Bank has approved a $300 million loan for the ‘Second Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project ‘.
To help the state fulfill its vision, Second Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project will address the accumulated investment needs by supporting upgradation of 1,175 km of the core road network.
The project will adopt a contracting arrangement to encourage economies of scale. It will also offer stronger incentives for performance, viz., Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) contracts (430 km), Public Private Participation (PPP) concessions (145 km) and long-term Performance-Based Maintenance Contracts (PBMC, 600 km).
“While Tamil Nadu has made impressive economic progress, the state government recognizes the need for improving infrastructure, particularly road infrastructure, to make growth more inclusive. Better roads will help improve access to markets, healthcare and education while creating new jobs and boosting agriculture,” said Onno Ruhl, World Bank Country Director for India.
“Rapid growth has also led to substantial increase in vehicle ownership. An important aspect of the project will be to strengthen road safety in order to bring down the number of fatalities and serious injuries from traffic accidents in the state,” Ruhl added.
The first project – Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project – supported upgrading (724 km) and maintaining (1,030 km) roads along with several initiatives to strengthen institutions as well as road safety. These included a road safety policy, a Road Accident Database Management System, a Road Safety Fund, and black-spot improvement.
During the project period, number of fatalities from road accidents per 10,000 registered vehicles reduced from 19 in 2003 to 11 in 2012. The percentage of roads in poor condition in the state’s core road network (CRN), comprising state highways and major district roads, reduced from about 35 per cent to 8 per cent. Also, the share of roads with less than 2-lane width in CRN decreased from 60 per cent to 38 per cent.
“The first project had a number of institutional successes but there is also an unfinished agenda. The project will support the Government of Tamil Nadu in implementing a more sustainable strategy involving innovative contracting structures with scope for greater efficiency, a gradual shift towards more optimal allocation of budgetary support towards capacity expansion and maintenance and a more coordinated approach to road safety at the state and field levels,” said Pratap Tvgssshrk, Senior Transport Specialist and World Bank’s Task Team Leader for the project.